Kentucky Motorists Are Reminded Not to Pass Stopped School Buses

Kentucky Motorists Are Reminded Not to Pass Stopped School Buses

As classes resume on August 10, it is worth reminding drivers to observe school bus traffic laws.

In the recent survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), it was found out that a total of 74,421 illegal passing of school buses have been observed, based on the data gathered from March 1 to May 31. Joined by 33 states plus DC and 96,540 participating drivers, the said survey was done to “promote the need to develop improved safety countermeasures at the state and national level”. Participating drivers specifically school bus operators, both public and contracted, reported in the survey the instances of motorists illegally passing their school buses.

The NASDPTS was established in 1968 with the goal of providing school children a safe, secure, and high-quality transportation.

Passing stopped school or church bus is Illegal in Kentucky

As early as 1988, passing stopped school buses is illegal in Kentucky. KY 189.370 states that if any school bus used in the transportation of children is stopped to discharge or receive passengers, with the stop arm and signal lights activated, the motorist who is approaching from any direction shall bring their vehicle to a stop. In addition, he shall not proceed until the school bus has completed discharging or receiving passengers. Only when the bus is in motion again, the vehicle can pass.

If any vehicle is found out to be in violation of the said law, it will be presumed that the person in whose name the vehicle is registered or leased is the vehicle operator at the time the alleged violation happened. Eventually, he will be subject to further prosecution and penalties.

This stop requirement, however, is not applicable to vehicle approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of four or more lanes.

In 2014, the Corbin City School Transportation Director revealed that some drivers passed school buses without being aware that they are breaking the law. Moreover, he said that these drivers are distracted, always in a hurry, and use cellphones while driving.

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I am surprised by the fact that there are many motorists who still pass stopped school buses even if the stop arm is already visible and their signal lights are activated. I urge all Kentucky motorists to be more cautious and careful of their driving practices. Our police have been implementing actions to protect our children and we must do our part, too. Observe school bus traffic laws and help in making the roads safer for the young generation.

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